Crafting a Balanced, Effective Data and Digital Recipe

Marketers today are increasingly expected to possess an array of skills from a broad spectrum of disciplines. On any given day, we use elements of science, math, communications, psychology, and even the culinary arts.

Just as chefs carefully choose and measure ingredients, tinker with recipes, monitor progress, shift tactics as problems arise, and adjust to failure accordingly (e.g. my disastrous “pizza ramen” experiment in 2008), so too must marketers.

Staying with the culinary theme, one especially important recipe for today’s marketer is how you combine data and digital tactics to cook up a hearty helping of marketing success. Before we go further, let me clarify that by digital tactics I mean internet-based advertising, while data is information you use to be more effective at marketing.

Individually, data and digital are key ingredients you can’t do without. But they need each other to truly shine.

Data should funnel into, fuel, and enhance your digital advertising efforts and overall marketing strategy. Let’s dive a bit deeper into this idea.

The Case for Data

 
No one needs to be talked into incorporating digital channels into their marketing strategies. You know, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, online job boards… Where would we be without these online tools to promote and grow our businesses?

It’s usually the big, bad, scary concept of data that causes consternation. How do you gather it, analyze it, and use it to your advantage? Not to mention figure out what marketing metrics are worth measuring?

Plenty of people get intimidated by the vastness of data and just end up ignoring it. As evidenced by the chart below, you’re not alone in the data-wrangling struggle.

That’s a shame, because data-driven marketers who link their metrics to business results are three times more likely to hit revenue goals than those who don’t.

To take a page from Google’s own marketing strategy: “we mine the data we’ve gathered to refine our audience, understand what they want, and decide how to build those insights into the ad experience.”

That’s what data can do for you. Here are a few more ways data can make you better at digital marketing.

Data Proves What Works

 
Tracking metrics and gathering information on your audience unveils insight as to what’s working. How can you optimize your campaigns without keeping track of what approaches are resonating?

Data helps you track metrics like:

  • Average daily and monthly digital campaign spend
  • Average clicks
  • Click-through rate
  • Social media reach
  • Landing page conversion rate
  • Email open rate
  • Page views
  • Cost to acquire new customers

Parsing analytics to measure your digital campaigns will make you more efficient at your job, and help diagnose what’s not working. Data also can help you monitor your ROI.

Knowing what type of content your audience responds to (and on what channel) enables you to tailor your communications according to their tastes and preferences.

Data Helps You Reach the Right People (at the Right Time) (via the Right Medium)

 
Whether you’re trying to recruit drivers or reach potential customers, data can help you find the best prospects and reach out to them in ways that are likely to resonate. If you know where someone lives, how old they are, what they do for a living, what their interests are, and how they spend their time online, that gives you a huge advantage when crafting your marketing strategy.

Here at Randall-Reilly we get to know our audiences and fans of our brands through industry research and reader surveys. Gathering data about our readers’ demographics, media consumption habits, and channel preferences gives insight into who exactly reads our publications. We want to find out who they are, what they’re into, and what sorts of content they like to consume.

Collecting data of this nature is a path to building relationships and identifying exactly who you’re looking for — in the right place, via the right channel, at the right time.

Choose Your Ingredients Wisely!

 
Data can be an overwhelming firehose to drink from, so you need to identify what the most pertinent metrics are that you want to focus on. It’s crucial to emphasize the right data points so you don’t get blown off course. For the sake of winning internal buy-in to what you’re doing, it’s also good to ensure the data you monitor and utilize is easy to track, share, and understand. (Offering clear proof of ROI in plain terms anyone can understand is always valuable to have on hand.)

You need to nail down what marketing metrics are most important to you, your team, and your boss. Focus your optimizing energies on these.

Identifying the metrics that matter most to you is the first big step toward baking up a perfectly portioned data- and digital-fueled marketing recipe.

So choose your ingredients wisely, and make your marketing more relevant, personalized, and effective than ever.
 

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